Chamber hosts Congressman Joaquin Castro as part of Congressional Series
On Friday, your Chamber hosted part two of our highly anticipated Congressional Series, featuring U.S Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX), moderated by the Chamber’s 2018 Chairman of the Board Shaun Kennedy, San Antonio Regional Chairman of Texas Capital Bank. The luncheon marked the second of five congressional luncheons the Chamber will be hosting this year. These luncheons provide a great opportunity for key business and community leaders to hear directly from the members of the Bexar County delegation about the critical issues in Congress that will impact the business community and community overall.
The discussion began with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) a topic that is making headlines across the country. Castro mentioned that he supports and will vote yes if a Clean Dream Act were to be proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Castro touched on the growth of the cybersecurity ecosystem in San Antonio and efforts by UTSA to enhance the number one cybersecurity program in the Country. He also discussed NAFTA, an issue very important to the San Antonio business community. Castro is an active supporter of NAFTA and would like to see it successfully renegotiated. “NAFTA has allowed businesses to develop integrated supply chains across North America,” Castro said. He also emphasized how important trade is to Texas, the state that exports the most of any state in the country. Mexico is Texas’ biggest trade partner.
Castro closed with comments on college affordability and impact aid for local school districts on federal military installations. He mentioned that his focus will be on making it easier for kids to afford college and graduate. “A lot of people walking around in their 20’s and 30’s are carrying a lot of student loan debt that is affecting their ability to get the job they want, live on their own, or buy a car,” Castro said. He would also like to see colleges and universities – specifically those that are able to – forgive student loan debt.
Castro received a round of applause from the audience when he went on record to say he would vote no on H.R. 5199, Education Savings Accounts for Military Families Act of 2018. This bill would be detrimental to local school districts who reside within boundaries of a federal military installation and receive funding under the Impact Aid Program. The Chamber sent a letter to key members of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee asking them to oppose the bill.
Rep. Castro is in his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives and has made tremendous strides in Washington D.C. He serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Rep. Castro also currently serves as the First Vice-Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. He was the 2013 Co-President for the House freshman Democrats and serves in House Democratic Leadership as Chief Deputy Whip.
To view pictures of the event, click here.